Who are all of these folks trying to hack, steal and con their way into my financial and personal information? They are known by many names. The must common one is a hacker. The term hacker is typically used for someone trying to brake into your computer or by taking an advantage a weakness within the system. Hacker used to be the term used for someone who would use a system to do something outside of its original purpose. Crackers are those that broke into computers and networks but over time, the term hacker was used instead of cracker. In this book, we simple call them bad people because, it covers all the different types of thieves behind the different mask they wear.
Back in the 60’s and 70’s, people tricked the phone system by making sounds, into getting free calls. This was known as Phreaking. If you were around during that time, you would hear a series of tones before a long distance call was placed. Those tones were easy to reproduce with toy whistles found in cereal boxes. This was done by amateurs doing this for fun and to save a few dollars on their phone bills. Around the late 90’s, groups of activist used the internet to drive their social and or political agendas. They are referred to as hacktivists. Around the same time, the criminal community started to see hacking as a profitable way to make money. The opportunity to rob consumers, banks, companies and governments from anywhere in the world was a real game changer. Today we are living with amateurs, hacktivist activity and commercial operation financed and owned by large criminal organizations. Why? Hacking is 1000 times more profitable than other criminal activities. In the United Kingdom it is estimated that the Cyber Criminal Underground Economy is larger at this point than the FTSE the London Stock Exchange. That gives you an idea of how big it is. The nature of the internet we enjoy, makes it hard to catch them and some foreign governments protect them.
You might think, are there that many people in front of computers trying to hack me? The short answer is for the most part no. They use cloud servers and automated software to do most of the work. A thief looking to rob a house may follow a simple process of knocking on the door during times when most people are out to work. When there is not an answer, they check to see if the door is locked. If the door is locked, they move to the next house until they find an open door. There is a chance someone forgot to lock the door. Imagen is their was software they could use to do the knocking, listening if someone is home, checking the door and reporting back letting them know which houses have no one home and the door is unlocked. They can rob a lot more homes quickly. The software used by hackers does leg work for them.